This savory Grilled Watermelon Salad is packed with feta cheese, mint, basil, and onion, and is bound to be the summer salad of your dreams.
I shared with you the exciting little tidbit that I’m going back to school to get my master’s in sensory science. Well, yesterday I visited the new university and my brain, which has been sluggish from a lack of a schedule and (too many) stroopwafels since I moved to Holland, is in turbo mode.
Recipes are popping into my head left and right and I’m thinking of so many ways to make my ultra long commute to school efficient and maybe I’m even talking a bit faster and I’m just so energized.
I told Eatmailers I’d report back with some fun nutrition facts, so here we go. There was this study at the university that looked at what foods stay in your belly longer (i.e. keep you fuller longer), and they found that high calorie foods tend to keep you fuller, longer. But we don’t want to go eating a bunch of calories just for the sake of staying full, right?
So they did a second experiment where people ate a high calorie food then drank water. The people who drank more water after consuming calories stayed full the longest.
How does this work? Well it’s likely that your brain and belly notices you eating something high in calories (chocolate milk, pie, cheese, whatever) and slow down digestion. So when you drink a bunch of water right afterwards, rather than going right through ya, the water will sit in your stomach, digesting more slowly, and keeping you full. In short, eat food, drink water afterwards, stay full.
But you don’t need to worry about high calories and water-logging today, because we’re cooking up a Grilled Watermelon Salad. If you’ve never tried a savory watermelon recipe before, you need to get on it.
One of my favorite go-to kitchen resource is The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. Why? Well it’s purpose is to give you flavor inspirations. So I have a watermelon and I’m feeling inspirationless. I flip to the “watermelon” section and there’s a huge list of all the things that go well with watermelon. How cool is that?
So while perusing the list of watermelon combos I came across feta cheese, and the idea stopped me in my tracks. Fresh watermelon with creamy, tangy feta…could that work? So I ran to the kitchen, threw open the fridge, and pulled out these two seemingly opposite ingredients. Hesitantly, I popped them both in my mouth at the same time, and then my whole world flipped upside down.
Okay, I’m being dramatic. But the combo was really really good. And after pan-searing fresh watermelon into a savory watermelon steak last year, I knew cooking watermelon was another under-appreciated means of serving up this summer melon. So I just combined it all!
Today we’re grilling watermelon and tossing it with a simple combo of feta cheese, arugula, mint, basil, and red onions. The result is a Grilled Watermelon Mint Salad that is so refreshing, satisfying, and the perfect summer recipe. I think you’re really going to love it!
More Summer Salads you’ll love
- ¼ medium watermelon
- ½ cup crumbled or cubed feta cheese 95 g
- 2 cups arugula 30 g
- ¼ cup sliced red onion about 1/4 of an onion
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL, divided
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar 5 mL
- ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
- Cook Watermelon: Cut watermelon into 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick slices and remove the rind. Brush each piece with 1 Tbsp olive oil. In a grill pan, saute pan, or on the grill, cook watermelon at medium/high heat until char lines develop and watermelon lightly browns, about 3 minutes each side. Remove from heat and chop into large chunks.
- Assemble: In large bowl, gently combine watermelon, feta, arugula, red onion, mint, and basil. Whisk together 1 Tbsp olive oil, balsamic (more to taste), salt, and pepper. Gently combine with the rest of the salad. Serve warm or chilled.